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tv   FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace  FOX  February 25, 2013 2:00am-3:00am PST

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. >> chris: i'm chris wallace, it is five days and counting until those automatic spending cuts kick in. ♪ >> chris: from defense, to food inspection to travel at airports, what happens when $85 billion in cuts are triggered friday? and what are the chances for a last-minute deal? we'll ask two senators at the heart of the debate. republican tom coburn, and democrat claire mccaskill. then, how are governors preparing for sequestration? will the cuts squeeze their budgets and drive some states into recession? we'll talk with two leading governors, scott walker, of wisconsin and jack markell of
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delaware. with the president and republicans eyeball-to-eyeball who will blink first and our power player of the week, a brain surgeon touches a political nerve in washington. all, right now, on fox news sunday. ♪ >> chris: and hello, again, from fox news in washington. when all sides agreed to the sequester a year-and-a-half ago those automatic across-the-board spending cuts were supposed to be so painful it would force the president and congress to make a deal. but, now, jwith just five days o go there is no deal and the deadline is here. joining us, two senate leaders on budget issues, from oklahoma republican tom coburn and from missouri, democrat claire mccaskill. senators, let's start with the big question, quick question, quick answer, will the sequester
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happen? will those $85 billion in spending cuts kick in on friday? senator coburn? >> yes, it will and it is not $85 billion, because it is a pro rata portion of that, until the end of the year and it will not be a full $85 billion. >> chris: but it is going to kick in? >> it will kick in. but, at a pro rata rate and you will not see $85 billion all of a sudden shrink, from the federal government. >> chris: we're going to get to that in a second. senator, do you agree it is going to happen? >> well, unless the republicans are willing to compromise, and, do a balanced approach, i think it will kick in. i am a little confused about the republican position at this point. it appears that speaker boehner does not have any kind of bill that he can even put on the floor of the house, that could pass, within his caucus. i think there is a little bit of a civil war that has broken out among the republican ranks.
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>> chris: wait a minute, senator mccaskill. the fact is the house passed two measures to replace the sequester cuts with other spending cuts, equal in size but, with other cuts and they've actually passed something in the house and your senate has not passed anything. >> the cuts last year, chris, but there is a new congress and those bills have no effective law do you... >> chris: and -- >> we will vote on something this week. and it will be a balanced ash approach. it will do both spending cuts, and will close loopholes. some really important loopholes that need to be closed from the sense of fairness in our tax code. >> chris: okay, we are going to pick up on that in a second. i want to go back to what senator colburn said, because the president says all kinds of terrible things are going to happen if these triggers, if these sequester cuts kick in. take a look: >> president barack obama: are republicans in congress willing to let the cuts fall on our
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kids' schools and mental health care to protect tax loopholes for corporate jet owners? >> chris: senator coburn, is the president exaggerating the impact of these cuts? >> absolutely. and, you see the typical set up the strawman. the federal government is twice the size it was 11 years ago. we are spending almost $4,000, per person, per year, coming out of the federal government. $12,000. the average family is on the hook for unfunded liabilities, in excess of 3/4 of a million dollars, per family. and, what and wsequestration, i is a terrible way to cut spending but not to cut 2.5% over the total budget over a year when it is twice the size it was ten years ago? give me a break. the american people, we see all the claims, what a tragedy it is going to be. the great example is, is if the
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secretary of transportation, can assure us all the planes will be safe, then the department of homeland security can assure us that we can get through the airports on time. they have plenty of flexibility in terms of discretion on how they spend money. there are easy ways to cut this money, that the american people will never feel. what you hear is an outrage, because, nobody wants to cut spending. except -- and it will be somewhat painful, but, not cutting spending is going to be disastrous for our country. >> chris: let me pick up with senator mccaskill. because, as you heard, republicans say the problem is, that the president is not serious about cutting spending, senator. let's watch. >> house republicans have already passed two bills to replace the president's sequester. so the question is, why won't he work with us? and, the answer, quite simply, is because he wants higher taxes. >> chris: now, i know you talk
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about a balanced approach but clearly the republicans will not agree to that. not saying who is right or wrong, but, senator, republicans are talking about passing something this week that would give agencies, give departments, more flexibility. to set priorities so cuts could be made according to what makes sense and what doesn't instead of across-the-board. you have supported the idea but the white house opposes transfer authority. what sense does that make? >> here's really what is going on. you have as usual in washington, a large kabuki going on, boabou who can be blamed. there is no question the cuts will be painful and they are thoughtless and tom coburn and i agree on that and we agree we need more spending cutting, we have to cut more spending. we agree on that. why is it we cannot come to the table and agree what cuts need to happen? that is what we should be doing. we shouldn't be passing the blame to the executive branch, or saying this is obama's
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sequester. the republicans supported this, i supported it. we need to come together and make the right cuts and frankly, ash carter, the department of defense said even if we did some kind of flexibility move at the 11th hour it is too little, too late in terms of what they have got in motion, at the department of defense. >> chris: i understand that. but -- wait, wait. senator -- >> i want to jump in. >> chris: let me say -- senator, get me ask senator mccaskill this question: you will not get an agreement in the next five days on the cuts. the sequester will go through and the question is why not give agency heads more flexibility so they can decide, i'm going to cut more of this and less of that? >> well, i think right now, the way this is set up, there are going to be cuts, a lot of places. and there will be some flexibility and i think we'll look at a number of things this week but it doesn't take away
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the real need we have. andnknow tom coburn agrees with me on this, we have more than just what we face this week. why not take the very specific offer the president has on the table that cuts entitlements and does do more in terms of working on the long term debt and let's get a big deal and fund the government and quit careening from crisis to crisis, that, frankly, hurts confidence of investors across the country and hurts our economy. >> chris: senator coburn? >> well, i think, first of all, the crisis is made up. it has been create. i didn't support the sequester because that is a stupid way to cut spending. and i didn't support increasing the debt limit. because, there is no such thing as the debt limit in this country, because we always raise it. but the fact is, is we have tons, hundreds of billions of dollars, of fat. and waste. and excess in the federal government. and we ought to be about cutting
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some of it out. you are seeing the political game go. there is no reason that we don't go on and cut spending, even across the sequestration. some of it is not smart. but it is the only way, washington, republicans and democrats, are ever going to get out of both parties, some spending cuts. and, the reason there is no agreement is because there is no leadership from the president on actually recognizing what the problem is. and the problem is, is an excessive, bloated, big federal government that is highly inefficient and highly ineffective. >> chris: senator mccaskill, isn't there a danger for the democrats -- it isn't like a cliff where you go into default, it will only be $44 billion of cuts in the rest of the fiscal year and they'll happen rather slowly. isn't there a danger for republicans, people will not feel the pain and they'll say, you know what? we can shrink the size of
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government? >> well, i think that there is -- there are several dangers that are looming. the biggest danger is we have a dysfunctional congress that cannot compromise. i'm proud to be part of the moderate middlend happy to work with tom coburn -- and we have worked on ways to make our government more responsible to taxpayers but that is really at the heart of this, chris. you have loopholes, right now, a guy making $3 million at one end of the hall, managing a hedge fund pays 20% and the guy at the other ends of the hall, managing and insurance company, pays north of 35%, that is dumb, we had a moderate middle, have e balanced approach to fix the loopholes an gain revenue and continue to focus on getting at the waste tom coburn and i agree about. >> chris: we are beginning to run out of time. a couple of other issues: the nomination of chuck hagel to be defense secretary, comes up this week. senator mccaskill, you are a member of armed services and
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voted for hagel in committee. i want to play, though, one of a number of rocky moments that he had during his hearing. >> i support the president's strong position on containment. >> i have been handed a note that i misspoke and said, i supported the president's position on containment. if i said that, it meant to say, that i -- his position on containment, we don't have a position on containment. >> to make sure your correction is clear, we do have a position on containment. which is, we do not favor containment. >> chris: senator mccaskill, during the hearing, senator hagel also said that iran has a, quote, elected, legitimate government. just on a question of competence and just on the question of knowledge, do you really have no second that the about chuck hagel as secretary of defense? >> the president was just reelected by the american people.
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and, he selected a man who is very qualified to be secretary of defense. his resume from his time as an enlisted soldier, fighting in a war with great bravery and decoration, to running the uso and to serving on a variety of different important bodies, that deal with national defense policy, the president wants him in the room, as he is making important decisions. he has -- there is no question about his integrity or his character. i think the president deserves to have the cabinet he wants, as long as the person is qualified, and there are no -- there is no question of how strong his character and integrity are. i think it is unfortunate, some of the things -- did he have the best day that day? of course not. it wasn't a great performance in front of the committee. but, having said that, he's qualified, he is -- i think it is despicable the way his character has been impugned by some people through innuendo and inference... >> chris: i'm not impugning his character, i'm impugning his
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competence. or questioning his competence, to put it more properly. i know -- i know what the administration's policy is on prevention and you know it and he didn't. >> well, i think he misspoke, the way he said it. and, you know, was that -- should he be disqualified after a lifetime of service? and a resume that clearly supports the position? i think it is time for us to come together and unite behind him, so he can do the best job possible keeping our country safe. >> chris: senator coburn, we're running out of time, two quick questions, you are one of 15 senate republicans who asked the president to pull the nomination, and senator shelby and senator mccain say they'll no longer block his nomination. do you agree he will be confirmed this week? >> he might be but the danger
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for our country and the lack of leadership by the president is recognizing that he doesn't have the competence of the fast majority of the senate. i like chuck hagel as an individual but the fact is, in modern times we haven't had one defense secretary that had more than three votes against him and you will have 40 votes -- 35 votes against him and it sends a signal to our allies as well as our foes he doesn't have broad support in the u.s. congress which limits his ability to carry out his job. >> chris: and finally, senator coburn, a bipartisan group of senators is reportedly close to a deal, to greatly expand background checks of almost all gun sales and the hold-up is whether or not the government should keep records of those sales. question: you are a member of this group, how close are you to a deal and what is the problem with keeping records? >> well, i don't think we are that goes to a deal and there will not be recordkeeping on
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legitimate, law abiding gun owners in this country and if they want to eliminate the benefits of actually trying to prevent the sale to people who are mentally ill and to criminals, all they have to do is create a recordkeeping and that will kill this bill. if you really want to improve it you have to eliminate the recordkeeping and give people the right and the responsibility to do the right thing and, that is check on the next list to make sure you are in the selling a gun to somebody who is in one of those two categories. >> chris: senator mccaskill, senator coburn, thanks so much, thanks for joining us today and we'll be counting down to the friday deadline for those big spending cuts. thank you both. up next, two governors tell us what impact the sequester will have in their states. ♪ myself. with so much noise about health care... i tuned it all out. with unitedhealthcare, i get information that matters... my individual health profile. not random statistics. they even reward me for addressing my health risks.
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>> chris: with washington headed for the sequester, the nation's governors are in town, and they are warning those federal spending cuts may drive their states back into recession. here to talk about it, republican governor scott walker, of wisconsin. and, democratic governor jack markell of delaware, head of the national governors association and, gentlemen, welcome. >> good to be with you. >> chris: let's start with the sequester and what it will mean to your two states. governor walker, according to a study, it will cost wisconsin $1.8 billion and 36,000 jobs, and mean big cuts in health services for mothers and children and special education funding. how worried are you about the
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sequester in terms of wisconsin, and do you support congressional republicans' willingness to let the cuts kick in if the alternative is to raise taxes, the obama idea? >> well, i think, all of us have a concern on the impact of our respective statements, in terms of the potential of the cuts if they do nothing and also, what the alternatives might be. we already had the first wave of impact of tax increases from the last budget deal, just a little over a month ago. and we are seeing the impact --' typical family making $50,000 now is paying a thousand dollars more a year in terms of taxes, that is money out of the economy as well. and, so, if we are not careful, a tax increase at one end can be a problem and severe cuts, another problem and one of the biggest problems in this city, too many times they kick the can, doesn't matter which party done the block, if you will and, don't really solve the problem and our hope is between now and march 1st to provide better alternatives to the cuts in the
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sequester. >> chris: but you wouldn't support the obama deal of a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts? >> well, i'm confused, when the president proposed the sequester in 2011, he said the cuts are so bad, the congress and administration will come back and provide a belter alternative of cuts an in the new taxes and they have the tax increases and that came at the end of this la year when we avoided -- temporarily -- the fiscal cliff and the challenge now is to find better long term ways to solve the fiscal problems facing this country, here in washington. >> chris: governor markell, you have a smaller im paematic impa sequester in delaware. how worried are you about it. >> we are very concerned, particularly the effect on the economy, we feel after difficult years we are starting to come out of it and things are getting a little better and unfortunately, the sequester could put is back where we were. you know, we spend so much time, as governors, trying to put people back to work and so, one of the most frustrating conversations any governor can have is with an employer who
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says, i have vacancies but, i can't find people with the right skills or one of the effects of the sequester could be, for example to hit workforce development training funds. that is crazy and, one thing we have to do is we have to figure out a way of putting people back to work as opposed to seeing cuts like this. >> chris: are you literally saying, this could push your state and other states back into recession. >> no doubt about it. the budget office estimates there could be 750,000 fewer jobs and people talk about the effect of states on the sequester and the real question is what is the impact on the people we serve? states are only a vehicle for service. and, so whether it is the fact that things like head start, special ed, substance abuse training, low income energy assistance. work first development funds, all hits us, and hits our budgets, and the real big impact could be on the economy and jobs. >> governor markell, vice president joe biden lives in the state of delaware and recently had advice for his wife, jill,
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about how to defend herself. let's look: >> i told my wife, we live in an area that is wooded and, somewhat secluded and i said if there is a problem, walk out on the balcony here and put the double barrel shotgun and fire two blasts, outside, the house. >> chris: you have a smile on your face. what do you think of that? >> the point that he was making is that people are entitled to have weapons, use them for self-defense and, he's obviously right about that. >> chris: in fact, though, wouldn't what he suggested be illegal? you know, it went on the blogs, in delaware you have to have a fear of your life, before you can use deadly force. >> what he is saying is if she felt like she was in danger, she has a weapon and could use it -- >> in fact it would be illegal. >> he lives in a fairly secluded
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area. i would not be troubled by his comments. >> chris: okay. that is a politic answer. since he's the most famous constituent of your state. governor walker, the last time we talked, you were battling and beating the public workers unions on their collective bargaining rights. the issue is still in the courts and still being appealed. but, what has the effect of your reforms been, both on the budget and the -- for the state and localities, and, for the unions? >> ositive for the taxpayers, they won, not only in the recall election but every time we have been upheld in the courts in both state courts and the federal courts and the real impact, we announced last wednesday, in our state budget, we went two years ago from a $3.6 billion budget deficit to nearly a half a billion dollar surplus and we took the money and invested it in tax cuts and increased funding, based on performance for our schools and invested in things like jack talked about with workforce development and those are things...
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>> chris: did it specifically come from the fact the public workers unions couldn't negotiate and -- >> in terms of collective bargaining, two years ago, unlike washington, had to tackle the biggest part of our budget and, we knew the biggest driver in our budget, every state is different -- was, the state and local government and to reduce that, the only way to do it without crippling local services was empowering, much as i had been a local official 8 years, empowering local governments to be able to make changes, not just in terms of pension and health care contributions but even things like stopping overtime abuse, work rule changes, schedule things that make things more financially available for our schools and local governments. we did that, and, in turn balanced our budget and our economy got better. >> chris: let's turn to another question. one of the big jobs all the governors will face over the next year is beginning to implement obamacare which kicks in officially the following year. the beginning of 2014. governor markell, you have agreed to expand to the expansion of medicaid in your state and you will work with the
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feds in setting up the health exchange in the state. it will be a partnership between delaware and the federal government. with all of the spending problems here in washington, are you worried that maybe not the first year, the second year, but at some point you will end up footing the bill for obamacare? >> first of all, they've made it clear they intend to stick with the deal offered to the states, in terms of medicaid expansion. we made the decision and we get to cover additional people, people who otherwise wouldn't have had coverage and would have ended up in the most expensive place of all, the emergency room and the federal government will pick up 100% for three years and 90% after and there is higher reimbursement for people we are serving and for delaware taxpayers it made sense and the real exciting move about health care, though, is not what is happening in washington, but what is happening in states around the country. some of the incredible innovations, to move away from the fee-for-service model and great work done in oregon, arkansas and many other states.
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and a number of states, including delaware, last week, received innovation grants from the department of health and human services, to focus on exactly that. >> chris: well, i want to stay weather obamacare, though, if you will. governor walker, you refused the expanded medicaid even though the feds were talking about picking up all the cost as governor markell mentions for the first three years and 90% thereafter and you said we will not run the health exchange, we'll let washington do it. how come? >> well, for us, every state is different and the governor and i talked about it not only between democrats and republicans and sometimes amidst members of the same party and in our case it was a better deal not to take the funds, and, instead, we're able to do an alternative, we reduced the number of uninsured, 224,580 and reduced the number of people on medicare, put 87,000 people into the marketplace and replaced them with 82,000 people who currently are living in poverty today, and weren't eligible, under a cap in the past from my predecessor.
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>> chris: we're getting a little in the weeds. i want to ask you: you pointed out the fact there has been difference within the parties as you well know, 7 republican governors have agreed to the expansion of medicare, to 133% of government, and here they are up, on the screen including well-known conservatives like rick scott of florida, this week, john kasich of ohio, and, they say they are doing it because of, if you will, free money, the fact that they said, our taxpayers are having to pay into this system, so they get the benefits of it and if the government is willing to pay 100% of the cost we'd be crazy not to accept it. critics say your decision is one that will cost your state millions of dollars and, it will mean a lot of people in wisconsin are uninsured. >> but every state is different, and that is why i will not criticize them, be they republicans or democrats, because every state is different. in or case we reduced the number of uninsured and medicaid and saved a little bit of money. >> chris: is part of the it
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also, that you are afraid the feds will not live up to this? >> no doubt about it. the federal government has a $16.5 trillion debt today. just for my cost to continue medicaid in the state of wisconsin without any expansion, costs me $644 million more in the budget, 39% of that is because the federal government, under the affordable care act and other provisions is pulling back from the previous commitments. today, without the expansion and, i look at that and say, if they can't fulfill, congress can't fulfill the commitments they've made i'm concerned where they'll be in the future but that is unique to wisconsin. >> chris: no, it isn't unique to wisconsin. >> the numbers are unique. every state is a little different -- >> i understand, but governor, why doesn't he trust washington and you do? >> the bigger story and one people miss is the fact, no matter what happened with respect to the affordable care act, what the country has to do is move away from what has become a sick care system where people are paid based on how many procedures they do to a health care system where people are paid based on quality and we have the opportunity to improve
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quality, reduce costs, simultaneously and the accordable care act provides the -- >> obamacare was supposed do to that but didn't do that. >> you are, looking at a point in sometime. >> chris: now. >> health care rates did not increase at the same rates as they had before and, if you look at innovation around the country, we heard yesterday in the governors meeting from some governors already seeing significant improvements in the reduction of costs. >> chris: we have to leave it there, governor walker, governor markell, thanks for coming in. please come back. up next, playing politics with the sequester. we'll ask our panel how bad will the spending cuts really be and who is winning the blame game? ♪ and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help people and businesses who were affected, and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy -- and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years.
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♪ >> first responders lose their jobs... teachers laid off... air traffic controller and airport security... hardship on a lot of people. >> chris: a new ad front conservative group, crossroads gps, mobbing the president's doom an gloom warnings about the sequester. and it is time for our sunday group. bill kristol of "the weekly standard," mara liasson from national public radio. republican strategist nick ayers and former democratic senator evan byah. let me ask as a group question, do you think the sequester will happen, the $85 billion of spending cuts will kick in, on friday? >> yes. >> yes. >> i hate to -- >> it is going to happen.
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>> i mate to action knowledge, something so stupid but nonetheless, it probably will happen. >> chris: let me pick up on that. one reason it seems to be it will happen, both sides are full speed ahead because both sides see political advantage, the democrats think that when the cuts start to become painful, democrats will blame republicans and republicans think, hey, my voters in my home district back home voted for me to come and cut spending. question: are they both right? >> i guess we'll see how the politics plays out. the idea people are letting it go ahead with massive cuts, to the military. i mean, when you exempt soldiers and all the other troops salaries, it is 15, 17% cut in a lot of military accounts and you are fighting a war and that is never mentioned when we debate the sequester. we have challenges abroad and serious elected members of congress and the president of the united states don't put first things first and say we have to cut it and claire mccaskill, the democrat on the
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show, she never endorsed the cuts in the military and knows it is wrong and is part of the majority in the senate. why aren't they doing something about it? republicans have the majority in the house and, they don't think the levels of cuts in the military are responsible, why aren't they doing anything about it? >> chris: well, let me pick up on this. the answer, the obvious answer, is first of all, you can probably make a deal and that will not happen but, the idea of flexibility, of transfer authority, saying to the various agencies, okay. you don't have to cut an equal amount from each budget bucket, some things are more important, you don't cut there and some things are less important and you cut more there. why is it the white house opposes that? >> they might be faced with that in a continuing resolution with flex betty. -- flexibility and a lot of republicans are saying, instead of shutting down the government, let's continue the sequester funding, and accommodate though democrats in the senate and, it is up to them to divide up the pain and that might happen and the president will be faced with the decision to veto or accept
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it. now the white house want to see if their theory is correct. that these cuts will be so painful, that it is going to force republicans negotiating table. we don't know if that will happen. it might not. >> chris: i want to pick up on that with you, aren't both sides taking a chance here? if the white house is right and it is painful and kids get thrown out of head start and it is intolerable to go through airports, are voters going to blame republicans and say, once again, they are publrotecting t wealthy at the expense of the middle class an conversely, if the republicans are right, might voters say, it doesn't kill things... >> i'm surprised in d.c., only in this town could a 3% spending cut, $85 billion, rich lowry said... it will be closer to $45 billion, and, when can a 3% cut
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be that bad in washington, d.c. woodward's column was a game changer. the president owns sequestration. and, republicans should withstand the heat in the coming days and the coming weeks and, after it happens, they need to get out of this town and go on offense and explain they had two options, accept for tax increases, bad for the country or could have allowed spending cuts and they weren't done the way they would have proposed them but it was better than raising taxes and, let me make the point with all the governors, you know, here in town today. republicans have a great case to make that, look at how republican governors in states have handled this. they have dealt with issues far bigger than 3% cuts, to the budget. you have chris christie, who closed a 33% budget gap. and bobby jindal shrank the size of government in louisiana by 26%. you have scott walker, who closed a $3 billion, you know, budget deficit by renegotiating important contracts in the birthplace of afscme, and, massive budget deficits and i
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think republicans are in a pretty good position, in the summing days, don't stay to fight the battle. they have to get out of washington, d.c. >> chris: we should point out one of the reasons... he used to be running the republican governor's campaign and got a lot of these guys elected and also referred to the bob woodward article and i was just about to bring it up with you, senator, woodward has a piece in the "washington post" -- and he wrote the book on the budget battles in 2011 and he was, not only was it the white house that came up with the idea of the sequester, but they also accepted the idea that the sequester would be all spending cuts, not tax increases, and woodward writes today, when the president asked that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts, but also new revenue, he is moving the goal post. that was not the deal he made. senator bayh, your reaction? >> he may be and in washington some agreements are written in blood and others in vanishing
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ink. it is clear this is one of the latter and, there was an intervening election and the president won and his popularity is high now and it is not unexpected he'd resist the agreement and ask for something more to his liking. i think the way it plays out, depends on how the cuts actually affect americans' daily lives. news the republicans are focusing on polls that show in theory, people like spending cuts. but, there are different polls that show when you talk about specifics, not nearly so popular. my guess is, the president wins the short-term, because he is popular and the republican brand is still damaged, he has the bully pulpit and if it drags on for a while, is he dragged into the morass and, they expect him to fix things and we know congress is dysfunctional and he may be tarred with the whole thing. we don't know that for a while. >> chris: a top white house official was so sensitive about the woodward column he called me
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last night and he said, look, it is a come police revisionist history. we accepted the all cuts to the sequestration, just as a way to get the trigger and know expected it to happen and if we wanted all spending cuts, we could have made the deal with senators -- with the house republicans, back in august of 2011. and there wouldn't have been any sequestration. >> the white house proposed it originally, and the white house is being misleading when they deny that and on the other hand, a majority of republicans in congress voted for it and both accepted it as a trigger and a fail-safe mechanism and too horrible to contemplate and now it is happening and it is pathetic, really, this is a political debate about -- i hate to sound like -- we are how many months away from the next election? a long way. you understand, you will not get a compromise for the national interest and really in february? right after a national election, you people can't rise above this? the president of the united states, stupid campaign events and people with emergency responders behind them as props. the republicans in the house, sit around saying, oh, hey, let
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it go in, we're tough guys and what about the military, let them go to the bases in their home states and explain they are cutting back and, the aircraft carrier in the gulf -- >> if we can't governor we will have an automatic pilot, and everyone admits it is not the right way to go about it and the timing is off and you need long term entitlement reform that doesn't damage the economy in the short run but the political process is broken. >> chris: which may be a reason you are no longer in the senate. you came to that conclusion. all right. on that happy note we'll take a break here and when we come back, will chuck hagel and john brennan be confirmed or will the republicans find new ways to block them?
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>> chris: still to come, our power player of the week no at a prayer breakfast we are talking about fairness. >> chris: the world renowned brain surgeon diagnosed what is wrong with the country. >> what is truly fair, first is what is
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♪ >> for the sake of national security we urge the senate to confirm senator hagel. we urge the senate to confirm john brennan, and to get them to work, because the nation need them to be at work. >> chris: white house press secretary jay carney, urging the senate to vote this week to confirm the president's nominees, chuck hagel for defense and john brennan for the
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cia. and, we are back now with the panel. as we said earlier. 15 senate republicans wrote to the president this week urging him to pull the hagel nomination and lindsey graham, who is against the nomination, demanded more information about various speeches, various comments chuck hagel made. bill, any way that they can block the nomination or will he be confirmed. >> it will be a close vote for cloture and some of his speeches, there is contentious about what he said but he has not opened it up. in nebraska and omaha and it is a legitimate issue for republicans to say, it is an important job, can we look at these public documents an audio and speeches she h es he has gi president obama, has them voting for the defense secretary who may not be the best person for
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the job. >> chris: mara, as i talked about with senator coburn, you have mccain, who voted to block, he says he will not vote to block and richard shelby of alabama voted to block and will not do that. it would seem, sheer mathematics since the cloture passed... >> i think hagel gets through. it is hard to see the math, how the republicans could block him and the question is, how damaged has he been by the process? i think if he's damaged, he was damaged more by his own performance, than by the votes against him and he'll have to, you know, make up for that. but, as he say he doesn't make policy and it is come from the white house anyway and it is just all around an inauspicious beginning for a new defense secretary. >> chris: as you say you live in the real world outside the beltway, is any of this about hagel's comments and been gaza
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a -- benghazi and, is any of that penetrating into the real world. >> i think it is. his hearings were so bad it cut out of the town and where average folks are asking questions. it is impossible for the white house to say with a straight face this is the best choice at a critical time, in what our country is facing for chuck hagel to run the defense department. it is an impossibility. is it the president's prerogative? absolutely, i think he'll be confirmed but this is like andy griffith turning maybury over to barney. it is -- and i don't want to be rude, but, haley barbour made a comment that is right. he said what is sad is obama's cabinet look more like a staff, people will do what he tells them to do and i think what the pick is, really, the president making himself secretary at a time when we need a serious person like a bob gates, or leon panetta. >> chris: senator bayh i want to make up on something tom coburn
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says: assume hagel gets in, has he been damaged by the progresses and does it weaken his -- by the process and does it weaken his ability to deal with competing power structures inside the pentagon? >> well, the first impression was not positive, because of the -- as a result of the hearings, chris, no doubt about that and it is imperative for the new defense secretary. he will be confirmed. his first public outing or two it will be important to project the command, gravitas, thoroughly briefed, in charge of the facts, to dispel the original im protection creapres after that, it will be to surround himself with a strong management team. it is a big management responsibility, at the pentagon and they'll go through changes and fiscal challenges, without the sequester, and, so ultimately the proof in the pudding will be in how he performs as defense secretary and if he comes out of the blocks as a veteran professional, it is not a big deal and he can put it behind him. >> chris: bill one way the white house is trying to clear the path for two nominees, hagel at
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defense and brennan at cia, is that they have kind of grudgingly been dragged out, have agreed to release some of the e-mails that chart how the talking points were developed after the benghazi terror attacks from the time of the attack until susan rice went on the five sunday shows five days later and said it was a spontaneous demonstration in reaction to the anti-islamic video. what do you expect the senators to find? >> i don't know, but i would like to see them -- they are not classified e-mails, they are e-mails about the pr performance after the attack and should be made public and let us judge whether he was honest, or whether he used his position at the white house to politicize the talking points, to be used to explain this tragedy. >> chris: do you think -- the fact they are releasing it would seem -- >> the senate intelligence committee -- >> i understand, but, it is that
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-- that is giving it to everybody, in a sense. i would think that there are no smoking guns, they wouldn't release them. >> the obama administration on that -- i think they just -- >> maybe -- >> they say we have to take al qaeda out. >> the administration, they like to make things public and tell us how -- the basis of their decision making on that. the truth is, that makes the media think, and the fact is the more we learn the more the initial suspicions turn out to be correct. the president didn't give any serious guidance and afterwards they seem to have politicized the way in which they interpreted and there were failures beforehand and, it was as much of a scandal -- was about to have been as much of a scandal as we suspected all along. >> the white house is confident there is nothing that will blow up in their face and i don't think they would do it otherwise and both of these guys will be
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confirmed, and, you know, brennan never faced any serious opposition. >> chris: senator, the u.s. and our allies will sit down in kazakhstan on tuesday with iran to discuss the nuclear program, for the first time, i was astonished to see this, since last june, all coming at a time when iran is tripling the centrifuge capacity to enrich uranium even faster. what do you think of the chances for any progress there? >> i would be skeptical about the chances for progress, chris. i think the important thing is to remember, iranians respect strength, we have to keep the sanctions on and let them know we will not tolerate them becoming a nuclear weapons power. >> chris: but, they are tripling the centrifuge capacity, the sanctions we put in don't seem to have done anything. >> they are imposing real economic hardship on the country but look at the supreme leader, he's fairly content tus of the
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west and, we are weak and their capacity to endure hardship is greater than ours and, ultimately he wants a nuclear capability and that is this message we need to counteract and say, we are going to make it on hard as we can on you and if push comes to shove we'll do something about this. but you have to believe it. >> chris: and speaking of push coming to shove, i remember netanyahu with the cartoon bomb at the u.n., and drawing the red line. we are getting to the red line, probably by summer, aren't we? >> i wish evan byah were defense secretary, not chuck hagel. because he believes and said over the years... >> there go high chances. >> they were high, anyway, i like to enforce you every now and then, to continue you to be a valued panelist on fox news sunday. >> chris: your thoughts? >> i think israel faces a very difficult decision and i think they said repeatedly they cannot tolerate an iranian nuclear weapon and, how competent is the obama-hagel-kerry administration, how they will
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act. >> chris: thanks, panel, check out panel plus, where the discussion continues,nd, follow us on twitter,@foxnewssunday. up next, our power player of the week. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open for 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine.
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other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. (blowing sound) ask your doctor about spiriva. i've always had to keep my eye on her... but, i didn't always watch out for myself. with so much noise about health care... i tuned it all out. with unitedhealthcare, i get information that matters... my individual health profile. not random statistics. they even reward me for addressing my health risks. so i'm doing fine... but she's still going to give me a heart attack. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. >> chris: he's a world renowned brain surgeon and a big philanthropist. why we interviewed him last year and now he's also a political lightning rod and it seemed like a good time to revisit our power player of the week.
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>> i think that is the most appropriate venue to deal with what is ripping our nation apart and the fact that we are moving away from our values and principles. >> chris: ben carson is talking about the speech. his remark at the national prayer breakfast, two weeks ago. with president obama listening, carson diagnosed what is wrong with the country. such as political correctness. >> we have reached a point where people are afraid to actually talk about what they want to say. because, somebody might be offended. >> chris: and the benefits of a flat tax. >> some people say... they say, that is not fair, because it doesn't hurt the guy who made $10 billion, as much as the guy who made 10. where does it say have to hurt the guy. >> chris: why is that relevant at a prayer breakfast? >> because at a prayer breakfast we are talking about fairness. i think it is a perfect opportunity to talk about what
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is truly fair, versus what is politically fair. >> chris: the response has been electric. two-and-a-half million people who viewed carson's speech on-line... a "wall street journal" editorial proclaimed, ben carson for president. >> this is the kind of thing the republican party should have been saying, for the past four years. >> chris: but liberals were upset. especially, the carson senate at the prayer breakfast. >> it is a way for people to xhoo commune with the god of their choice... >> human potential, we don't talk about that. >> chris: we first met him at johns hopkins medical center in baltimore and he is known for taking on the hopeless cases. >> it is clear the only shot this person has is if you do something. >> chris: he knows all about human potential, because he's lived it. his mother got married at 13. and was illiterate. but he ended up going to yale,
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and becoming a brain surgeon. and since 1994, he and his wife, candy, have run the carson scholars fund, giving millions to help kids go to college. >> chris: why do you think your speech struck such a nerve? >> the average american wants a nation that is for, of and by the people and not for, of and by the government. >> chris: as for the critics. >> they weren't listening. they were looking to criticize. anything that they don't necessarily agree with. >> chris: carson doesn't think he'd be a good candidate for president. too blunt, he says. nor will he seek the office. but he doesn't rule it out. and, he isn't afraid of any challenge. >> chris: do you have any qualms about the fact that in a sense, you were leck tourituring the pt of the united states while he had to sit there? >> well, you know, i serve god and my purpose is to please him.
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